Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Is the Process For Septic Tank Installation in Wichita?
- 2 How Does Permitting Work for Installing Septic Tanks in Wichita?
- 3 How Much Does Septic Tank Installation Usually Cost in Wichita?
- 4 What Type of Septic Tank Is Best For Residents in Wichita?
- 5 How Often Do Homeowners in Wichita Need to Have Their Septic Tank Inspected?
- 6 Are There Any Rebates Available for Septic Tank Services in Wichita?
What Is the Process For Septic Tank Installation in Wichita?
Located along the Arkansas River, Wichita is the largest city in Kansas. It is the main destination for cattle drives from Texas and is known as the “Air Capital of the World.” Both the city and Sedgwick County have a robust sewer system, and residents are required to hook up to the public sewer system if they are within 400 feet. However, there are still areas that are not able to connect to the public sewer system and require a septic tank. If your home needs to have a septic system installed, several steps need to be taken.
For new construction, Sedgwick County requires soil testing, including soil profiles and groundwater depth measurements before any wastewater system being installed. However, for any new septic system installations, a soil survey and a site profile should be completed even if it is for an existing home. After these things are completed, you can choose which septic system is best suited for your home and apply for permits.
After your permits are approved, a plumber who is specifically certified for septic tank installations, like Mr. Blue Plumbing, can begin installing the system that you have chosen. After the system is installed, the City of Wichita requires the Environmental Health department to perform an inspection.
For a Septic Tank-Lateral Field System, this includes:
- Inspecting the septic tank-lateral field for any signs of surfacing sewage;
- Checking to see that the sewer lines appear to drain properly; and
- Checking to see that the septic tank and lateral field are a minimum of 50 feet from any water well.
For a Water Stabilization Pond (Lagoon), this includes:
- Checking to see that the sewer lines appear to drain properly;
- Inspecting the dikes to ensure that they are in good condition and that the pond is not overflowing over the dikes;
- Checking to see that the lagoon is weed and tree-free and that all of the separation requirements are met; and
- Inspecting the surrounding fence to ensure that the fencing requirements have been met. Sedgwick County requires that the fence be a minimum of 48 inches tall, with openings that are no larger than two inches by four inches, and a gate that is a minimum of four feet wide and is constructed of welded wire or chain link. It must be installed five feet from the bottom of the outer edge of the dike.
How Does Permitting Work for Installing Septic Tanks in Wichita?
For additions or replacements to an existing septic system, a permit must be obtained from the City of Wichita Environmental Health department. For new construction, permits are required from both the city and Sedgwick County, and if your system releases wastewater into surface water, you also need to obtain a permit from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The county also has a stipulation that homeowners are not allowed to pull wastewater permits. Only a licensed wastewater installer like Mr. Blue Plumbing can pull these permits.
When applying for your permit, you are required to submit detailed plans including sketches with detailed measurements. You must also submit soil testing results including a soil survey and groundwater depth measurements with your plans. After your application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department and will either be approved, denied, or more information will be requested.
How Much Does Septic Tank Installation Usually Cost in Wichita?
Depending on if you are installing a septic tank or a lagoon and if it is a brand new construction or an existing home, your installation costs can vary. On average, septic system installation costs between $1,243 and $8,747 in Wichita. These costs do not account for inspection fees, permit costs, and any general contractor fees, if required. They also do not include sales tax on materials. There are a few factors that will influence the cost of your septic system installation.
Cost Factor: Landscaping and Tree Removal
There is often quite a bit of landscaping and/or tree removal that needs to be done in conjunction with installing a septic system, particularly if you are installing a lagoon. Most prices include the cost of excavation to install the system, but not the cost of removing trees, adding a fence for a lagoon, or any other landscaping that might be required. A fence, in particular, can add a significant amount to your costs. In Wichita, fence installation can cost between $2,199 and $2,657 on average. The size of the fence needed is a large factor in calculating these costs since fencing material is priced based on linear feet needed.
Cost Factor: Size Needed
As with most things, the larger the septic system you need, the more expensive it will be. For example, a three-bedroom house costs between $6,220 and $7,390 on average for a conventional septic tank system. This price includes the cost of excavation, constructing the drain field, piping, and the septic tank. It does not include any tree removal, inspections, permits, or percolation tests which are often required during the final inspection of the system. For a lagoon, the price can vary depending on what type of lagoon you are installing, but larger lagoons will still be more expensive.
Cost Factor: Permits and Inspections
There are typically multiple permits and inspections needed before installing your septic system, as well as after it is installed. On average, permits cost from $25 to $200 depending on the septic system you are installing. Inspection fees alone are usually not very expensive, but multiple requirements have to be met before inspection and these can add to your cost. Soil testing, which is required before any installation, costs between $211 and $794. After the system installation, you will also need to have percolation tests done. In Wichita, on average, these cost between $750 to $1,850.
What Type of Septic Tank Is Best For Residents in Wichita?
There are several different types of septic systems available, but that does not mean they will all work for your home. The size of your household, how big your lot is, what type of soil, and the typical weather conditions all factor in what type of septic system will be most appropriate for your home. Additionally, cities and counties often have regulations regarding what type of septic system you can use. In Wichita, there are two different types of septic systems that residents are allowed to install.
- Septic Tank Lateral Field System: This is generally referred to as a conventional system in the area and the design has been used for several decades. It consists of a septic tank connected to a subsurface drain field. In this system, the effluent, which is liquid waste and sewage, is piped from the septic tank to underground trenches in a drainfield. The trenches are overlaid with stone and gravel that filter the effluent as it percolates through to the soil below where it is further treated by microbes in the soil. The trenches are a geofabric material that prevents sand, dirt, and other contaminants from entering the clean stone from above. This type of system is typically used in single-family homes in Wichita, but it does have a large overall footprint, so it may not be suitable for smaller properties. The septic tank, as well as the lateral drainfield, are required to be a minimum of 50 feet from any water well.
- Waste Stabilization Pond (Lagoon): There are three types of waste stabilization ponds (WSP): anaerobic, facultative, and aerobic. The overall design and function of a WSP are similar for all three. They are deep, man-made depressions, where wastewater enters from one side and the resulting effluent exits from the other side after being treated. All three ponds can be used in combination and both anaerobic and facultative ponds can be used independently, although when used in combination, the efficiency of the ponds is increased. Anaerobic ponds require a warm climate for the organisms to thrive which means they are suitable for use in Arkansas. Facultative ponds have a larger surface area and are shallower than anaerobic ponds which allow photosynthetic activity to dissolve the organic material. A WSP requires a lot size of at least five acres and must be fenced with no trees within 50 feet of the lagoon.
How Often Do Homeowners in Wichita Need to Have Their Septic Tank Inspected?
The City of Wichita recommends contacting a plumber like us to pump your septic system every two years and the Environmental Health division recommends having the tank inspected at the same time. A WSP should be assessed, at minimum, every month, but this does not require an official inspection by either the City of Wichita or Sedgwick County. In addition to monthly inspections of your WSP, you should also inspect it seasonally and annually, as well as perform maintenance and repairs.
Both a septic tank and a WSP collect sludge at the bottom, but the rate of accumulation varies. Sludge at the bottom of an anaerobic pond accumulates more quickly than other ponds and requires sludge removal by our experts every two to three years. A septic tank accumulates sludge based on its size and how many people live in the home. Sedgwick County provides a guide to how often your septic tank needs to be pumped, but on average, the county recommends every two to three years, similar to the city’s recommendations.
Are There Any Rebates Available for Septic Tank Services in Wichita?
There are no rebates available for septic tank services in Wichita. However, the EPA does have a variety of federal grants and other funding available for septic systems, along with funding that is targeted specifically for tribal communities. Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have grants and funding for both repair of existing systems as well as installation of more efficient wastewater systems for both new constructions as well as for replacement of existing systems that are functioning poorly. HUD also has specific resources for Native Americans.